The Earth Is Awesome
Happy Earth Day! Of all the days this is one we should all pause to acknowledge. Without mama earth there would be no life. No you. No me. Nada. Just one look at the other planets in our solar system and the ridiculous abundance we live in is clear.
The earth gifts us the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breath. We don’t have to do anything for this, it’s right there. As I look out at my garden right now I can see dandelion flowers popping up everywhere. This highly nutritious plant is offering itself in abundance, ready to feed me, without me doing anything!
As our modern lifestyles have distanced and disconnected us from the earth we’ve forgotten just how important the earth is, not only to our survival but to our wellbeing. When I say we’ve forgotten – I don’t mean intellectually. Most of us can rationally understand that trees and plants provide us with the fresh oxygen that we need, that healthy soil produces nutrient rich foods that sustain our bodies. But there’s another type of cognition that’s all but lost, a heart-centred, intuitive mode of cognition.
I’m reading a fascinating book on this topic called The Secret Teachings of Plants. All ancient and indigenous people the world over said they learned about the medicinal properties of plants…wait for it…from the plants themselves! Sounds pretty out there, but this isn’t just one group of people in one geographic location at one point in time. This has been a way of knowing and communicating with the environment documented in distinct groups of people throughout the world at different times in history. They can’t all be wrong/bonkers/foolish/stoned.
The book goes on to describe in incredible detail how the heart, our human heart, is a powerful organ of perception. It’s the organ that is most sensitive to electrical and magnetic fields. The earth itself, and all life on it, including the plants, are constantly sending out electrical and magnetic signals, these signals contain information. We’re just not listening anymore. It’s not surprising then that we do things that harm the earth and harm ourselves in turn.
Another point worth noting from the book is that our hearts will merge and entrain with other electromagnetic fields. A mother’s calm heartbeat calms a distressed baby when it’s held close to her chest. When we go out into nature, take a walk in the forest, our hearts entrain with the slower, deeper rhythm of the plants and trees we’re surrounded by. We feel calmer. Likewise, if we’re in a busy environment surrounded by stressed out people our heart entrains with that vibe and we feel the difference. So we haven’t completely lost this art of communication, but it could definitely do with some nurturing.
How to Celebrate Earth Day
Given the gems from this book my top tip to celebrate Earth Day is simply to get outside and spend some time in contact with the earth and with the plants. Bonus points if you get barefooted and make direct contact with the earth (check out my new earthing obsession here).
If everyone started to plug back into the source that sustains us, to cultivate this relationship, we wouldn’t be so blasé and passive about corporations and governments pillaging the earth for profit and convenience.
Until most us can recognise more plants and trees than company logos we’re not going to see the shift we need to live in harmony with the earth. So go out on Earth Day and take a look around. Get curious about what’s there. Start making some plant friends. Maybe pick some wild nettles or dandelions and make a special Earth-Day-locally-harvested-meal!
“The intention to note and detect external stimuli results in slowing of the heart. This shift in focus from thinking to external sensory perception, significantly modifies and slows the duration of the cardiac cycle, producing a transformational cascade that affects all physiological and cognitive functioning.” – The Secret Teachings of Plants
Resources and Links
The Woodland Trust Dedicate a tree to someone as a lovely gift or just donate to support our woodlands. The UK is one of the least wooded areas in Europe with around four per cent woodland cover. Four per cent!! Less then two per cent of the UK is covered by ancient woodland, which is both rare and irreplaceable.
http://www.edenwildfood.co.uk/ Get to know the wild edibles in your locality by taking a foraging course. I had so much fun on this course, highly recommend! There’s free food everywhere when you know what you’re looking at!